Ashley Morrison's Blog

January 7, 2014

g whizz.

Was my thinking here – after we recced this hotel in Galway…
The recce shot.
.. and took this image – as this is an area within the most expensive bedroom suite in their hotel – which is a luxury 5 Star hotel – and this is, therefore, one of their unique selling points (USP) of this room – which they had said they wanted us to look at shooting for them – so as they could use an image of this area, to help market and sell this luxury bedroom suite, to their guests, should they want to use it.

So if they are wanting others to pay them for the use their thing here – just as we are wanting them to pay us for the use our thing here – then I reckon we will BOTH need to do a lot better than this Wink

In our concept report, which we sent to them beforehand, we wrote…

Table set for breakfast OR for evening drinks, this would look great. Possibly a businessman or a couple with their backs to the camera looking out admiring the view – much depends on your market for this suite.

.. to which they simply replied: “That sounds good”.

Great – so where do we begin !!

Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to let my pictures speak for themselves here – by letting you see some of the pictures I took during this shoot – which started with me getting the camera in place and Marie positioned the table & chairs first…
Setting up the shot.
.. before she started to add a few wee personal touches…
Setting up the shot.
.. while I set-up some lights, etc – which then became this more formal setting…
Setting up the shot.
.. which still didn’t seem quite right – so after a total re-think on our part, about who their target market was here…
Setting up the shot.
.. and discussing all of that with their Sales and Marketing Director, Oonagh …
Setting up the shot.
.. we ended up with this…
Open air dining area in the Linda Evangelista suite at the g Hotel in Galway.
.. which was the final image, that we presented to them – of this open-air dining area in the Linda Evangelista suite at the g Hotel in Galway.

So the next time you say to me: ‘g whizz – why so much to take a picture’ – well now you know what I mean, when I say: There is a difference between taking a picture that you can use and create an image that you will want to use !! Wink

From Marie & me @… just for you !

November 20, 2011

Dark & Stormy

Filed under: Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 10:33 pm
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It was a while since we had an amp night on the town, so we made up for it at the weekend 🙂

Starting in our fave bar The Spaniard, where Stuart led us astray by suggesting Dark & Stormy cocktails…
.. which sure went down well.

Ginger beer, loads of freshly squeezed lime, angostura bitters and Barbadian dark rum – very nice indeed!

Then it was on to Little Wing for pizzas.
It was fantastic for Belfast to have hosted the MTV awards event the other week – there were a load of A listers in town – and guess where Katy Perry happened to end up…
.. yep, check out the flag above my head.

“Katy Perry was sitting right here.”

So Katey obviously has great taste too 🙂

January 25, 2011

How beautiful images…

.. can change peoples’ perceptions and feelings for their home.

A lot of the discussion at yesterday’s shoot was whether the owners of this very pretty cottage style bungalow…
Patricia and Christopher Abbott's detached cottage in the County Down town of Bangor.
.. should move to a larger house in order to get more space – or stay put and extend.

They’d tried putting their home on the market – but selling homes in the current climate is difficult, to say the least!!
After a while, people trying to sell their home can become very disenfranchised and disheartened.
They begin to wonder “what’s wrong with my home!”

So when a team like ourselves come along ‘out of the blue’ and tell them their home is gorgeous and we’d like to shoot it for a magazine – it often reminds folk why they fell in love with the home and bought it in the first place.

And then when they see our final images, which are all about lifestyle and atmosphere…
Patricia Abbott in the living room of her detached cottage in Bangor.
.. which is different from​ how the Estate Agency’s photographer’s picture below looks, which is more about showing the space…
.. they suddenly seem to look at their home with fresh eyes, remember the lovely times they’ve enjoyed there…
The kitchen in Patricia and Paul Abbott's detached cottage in the County Down town of Bangor.
.. and begin to feel happy with it once again.

Which this is actually something we’re encountering quite a lot, especially over the last few years.

And the upshot with yesterday’s shoot – well Yes, it very much looks like the Patricia and Christopher are going to stay put and extend.
They have remembered what a unique home they have and why they fell in love with it in the first place !!

Anyway, just like to say a big thanks to Patricia, Christopher and their daughter, Finuala…
Patricia and Paul Abbott's daughter, Finuala, in her bedroom.
.. for making us feel so welcome yesterday – and we hope you & your family enjoy your new found unique home, for many more years to come smile

From Marie & me @

January 8, 2011

ampimage do.

Filed under: Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 3:37 pm
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We weren’t able to get a night out over the Christmas period, for various reasons, but made up for it last night.

So a big thanks to Stuart for suggesting a most enjoyable itinerary (pub crawl) for the night !!
The Spaniard bar, in particular, was great craic – as we tried out our Halloween lighting technique…
.. and yep – I’m quite partial to a good pint of Guinness myself…
.. it’s hard to beat – especially with great colleagues who are also very good mates.

Then it was over to Hakka – which was a brilliant choice too – for fab noodle dishes.

Ah! to be sure to be sure, I’m blessed – to be working with such a great team.
It really was a great night out on the town… thanks to Stuart, Marie & that wee envelope from someone called Kitty too 🙂

So here’s to Arthur – the inventor of the wonderful “black stuff” – and a man after my own heart.

Cheers !

October 13, 2010

Day 5 on our road trip.

Today we were working again with Liz and Jim Gibney (who provide an interior and refurbishment service) here in the French Riviera near the village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.

People love to entertain friends in their homes – and beautiful table settings are very much a major part of creating the right ambiance for the evening !!

So one of today’s main shots was to show this…
Setting up the table shot
.. as our goal here was to create a beautifully elegant, yet simple, dining shot…
The dining table in Jim and Liz Gibney's home near the French Riviera village of Saint-Paul de Vence.
.. that shows the gorgeous table ware, accessories and furniture that Liz sources and sells in her shop/studio: Coup de Foudre, in the picturesque little hilltop walled village of Saint Paul-de-Vence.

Obviously, we produced a few other images as well, while we were there – but on day 5, I think this will be the main image that we will all remember it for.

So that was day 5 on our road trip – more to follow – from Marie & me in the south of France… which I have got to say, we we absolutely love 🙂

September 20, 2010

The Burlington…

Filed under: Photography,Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 8:00 am
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.. hotel in Dublin – is now on YouTube…

Which shows the series of images we produced last April, over a 4 day period, for them to use.


Deep-rooted tradition with a cosmopolitan twist, The Burlington Hotel, one of the premier Luxury 4 Star Hotels Dublin boasting luxury hotel accommodation in Dublin 4 – a long-standing favourite of times past – and present.

Just a short stroll from Dublin’s City Centre, the RDS and Aviva Stadium / Lansdowne Road, the Grand Canal Theatre, the 02 Arena and Croke Park venues are within quick access by car, bus or taxi.

The Burlington Hotel continues to shine as the largest conference venue in Dublin City and premier leisure and corporate hotel Dublin. The grand-scale of this Dublin City Hotel’s famous ballroom is unrivalled anywhere in Ireland, making The Burlington Hotel one of the most ideal conference venues Dublin. Behind its original, familiar exterior, this Dublin 4 hotel welcomes guests to its entirely refurbished lobby – an expansive, brightly lit space, an ideal spot to sit and watch the comings and goings with a newspaper and a cappuccino. The Burlington Hotel, one of the top Dublin City hotels, is also one of the best wedding venues Dublin City has to offer.

The Burlington Hotel‘s bars and restaurants in Dublin 4 are a buzzing hive of activity by night – the new Bellini’s bar adding a hint of panache to an evening where guests can sip a cocktail in a low-lit ambience, amidst the busy chatter of local clientele.

Ample parking and immediate proximity to Dublin’s City centre, Bus, Aircoach and DART line mean that guests can enjoy one of the premier 4 Star hotels Dublin as an ideal base from which to explore the city and its surrounds: a home away from home and a warm welcome back.

The Burlington Hotel.
Telephone: +353 (1) 6185600

September 18, 2010

Castle Leslie

Having fun producing these videos – which I feel give a new lease of life to our images and show what else they can be use for – in this ever changing world in which we live in.

So here is our latest YouTube video, which shows the series of images we produced back in 2008, at Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan.

Some of these images were produced for Castle Leslie to use and some where produced for editorial use – which have now been featured in both 25 Beautiful Homes magazine and NI Homes & Lifestyle magazine. Ideal Home magazine also ran with some other images we produced here, which showed ‘Wee Joey Farm Hand’ cottage – the home of their Chef, Matt King and his wife Shauna.

Castle Leslie Estate
Life, the way it’s supposed to be.

This Castle Hotel in County Monaghan is nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate Monaghan is one of the last great Irish Castle estates still in the hands of its founding family. Since the 1660s, the distinguished and somewhat individual Leslie family has lived on the Castle Estate, welcoming everyone from politicians to poets, ambassadors to ufologists to one of the finest luxury hotels Ireland.
Now you too can experience some of the most unique and enchanting castle accommodation in Ireland. Following significant investment and a major restoration programme over the last decade, the beautiful Castle Estate is waiting to be discovered. Located in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, the Estate is only 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast. Full of character and personality, it’s the ultimate Irish rural escape and boasts a variety of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes. A truly private and stunningly beautiful estate, it is a magical setting for your special event or wedding celebration.
The Castle, at the heart of the Estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world. The Lodge is the social hub of the Estate and brings locals and guests together in an atmosphere of conviviality and comfort. The Old Stable Mews is the perfect spot for groups that want the convenience of hotel living combined with private self catering.
The Estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure. It’s the perfect place to discover the thrill of exploring the countryside on horseback or foot. You can spend a few hours fishing on one of Ireland’s best-preserved lakes. Alternatively, you might prefer to enjoy a massage in the Victorian Treatment Rooms at the end of an activity packed day or relax with a book in one of our many beautiful rooms while staying at one of the finest Castle Hotels Ireland.

Castle Leslie Estate
Tel: +353 47 88100.

August 25, 2010

City North

Just back from shooting at the CityNorth Hotel
The CityNorth Hotel outside Dublin near Gormanston in County Meath.
.. outside Dublin near Gormanston in County Meath.

This one was all about showing the “personality” of the hotel, as well as it’s 4 star facilities.
So we started in the lobby…
One of the first pictures taken in the lobby at CityNorth Hotel.
.. by re-arranging a few things to suit the camera…
Set-up the lobby shot.
.. adding the grand piano…
Set-up the lobby shot.
.. and then lit it up…
The Lobby area in the CityNorth Hotel near Gormanston in County Meath.
.. once we had everything and everyone in place.

Then into the bar area…
Set-up the bar shot.
.. which came together quite quickly…
The bar at the CityNorth Hotel near Gormanston in Co Meath.
.. as the natural light was very good.

The large function room, which they call the Sumerville suite, was more of a challenge…
Set-up the bar shot.
.. as we only had a few table to work with; however, after putting our heads together…
The bar at CityNorth Hotel.
… and trying a few different angles, etc, we decided to go for a more dreamy type image…
Wedding banquet set-up in the Sumerville suite at the CityNorth Hotel near Gormanston in County Meath.
.. and so focused on the beautiful rose covered wedding cake instead.

Anyway, expectations were high and so this was a surprisingly a tough one for us – which I know left us all totally drained – even thought we only produced 6 images in total, which included the above four.

So this is just a wee note to say a huge thanks to Ladonna and all her team here, plus a special thanks to Marie & Scott too.

So from me to you all, thank you.

June 22, 2010

It’s a long way to Tipperary…

.. and that’s where we were this weekend, shooting at the Abbey Court Hotel…
The Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. near Nenagh.

The weather was beautiful; however, most of the images where indoors, so we were glad to have Scott with us – because as you see from the images below, which show the 1st first shot and the final image – we had to work hard on both the styling and the lighting here.

Started with the swimming pool in the morning, as it was quiet…
Setting up the pool shot
.. and so we were able to light it up nicely…
The swimming pool at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. before heading up to one of the bedrooms…
Setting up the bedroom shot
.. which Scott did a great job on, especially getting a light out that window…
Bedroom at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. using a very long boom arm.

Then it was down to the restaurant…
Setting up the restaurant shot
.. which was very cozy and had a great painting on the wall…
The restaurant at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in Co Tipperary.
.. of the Abbey Monks – before finally going to the bar…
Setting up the bar shot
.. which as always took time to light…
The bar at the Abbey Court Hotel near Nenagh in County Tipperary.
.. and style as would one expect of a traditional Irish bar.

Anyway, it may be “A long way to Tipperary”; however, I was very pleased with the results – so a big thanks to everyone involved this weekend and especially to the staff for their time.

From Marie, Scott & me.

January 28, 2010

Wow… wonderful indeed.

Filed under: Web links — Ashley Morrison @ 2:31 pm
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A Wonderful Demonstration of Creating Interior Photographs.

For those that may not have noticed Jeremy Esland’s thread in the PFRE flickr group recently, I think it is worth posting here again. This before and after gallery is from The owner of the site, Ashley Morrison, specializes in interior and hotel photography. Ashley works with Marie McMillen an interior designer when shooting hotel interiors. While this is technically not real estate photography the concepts are very relevant to shooting and marketing real estate photography.

As Jeremy points out, “…there’s immense educational value in lengthy examination/dissection of these examples“.

Before & After

From a marketing point of view, this sequence of before and after shots shows that the difference between a casual snapshot and a carefully crafted and staged image is huge. This simple display is a powerful marketing presentation for why a client would want to pay top money for their services.

The other aspect of interior photography that Ashley and Marie’s before and after sequence illustrates is the impact of staging interiors. It is well known that a staged home will sell for more and sell faster than a vacant or unstaged home and Ashley and Marie’s before and after sequence demonstrates why.

Thanks Ashley and Marie for this great set of examples and thanks to Jeremy Esland for pointing it out.

For more on this visit: Photography for Real Estate… as this is indeed wonderful stuff 🙂

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